Wednesday, November 04, 2009

wool, it happens when you least expect it

While I was visiting my family in Virginia (in between teaching and book signing adventures), my nephew's nursery school had a sheep shearing program. This wasn't entirely a surprise...

In fact, probably when my mom started this nursery school in 1970, she hoped it would always have events like this as part of the program. My mom (now retired) went on to many other things professionally, but she is incredibly proud that all her children and now, her grandchild, are at this special preschool.

A few months ago, I got an email from one of the teachers, asking me to make suggestions about a sheep shearing program. I replied with lots of ideas...and then I forgot about it. After all, it's not like I lived nearby!

It just worked out that the day of the shearing, I was in town. (no advanced planning...) My dad took me out to run an errand and suggested we just drop by. The sheep being shorn were lovely clean Icelandic sheep, part of a small "boutique" flock. I wanted to support the efforts of the shepherd, who worked hard to introduce small children to the joys of a sheep haircut or two. So, when my father pointed out this milk chocolate Icelandic fleece as his favorite, well, I bought it.

As the afternoon went by, my father became more definite about his plans. Now this fleece would be yarn that I'll spin up for my mom to knit a vest or cardigan for him. My mom said "worsted weight, please!" and my dad said, "Oh, and you can maybe give her the yarn when she visits Winnipeg in December!" Oh,'s a spinning order now! No problem! Yes sir! (Insert big smile here for the man who drove me to all those spinning lessons at age 12...that deserves instant service, right?!)

The fleece arrived in Winnipeg in a box (with a few other kinds of wool, but that's another story) and as soon as our heat worked again, I gave the fleece a quick wash. Now it's upstairs in my office, and I've started spinning the first bobbin. Never mind the enormous stash that I moved here this summer...this wool is butting in line as per my dad's request! We'll see what I can find time to get done by early December!
It seems like the perfect milk chocolate wool to feature with Halloween candy leftovers, doesn't it?!

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Blogger Jame said...

Isn't that just the way? Certain family members can really cut in line. It sounds like a lovely fleece that didn't need much urging to get ahead of the rest of the flock.

November 4, 2009 at 3:55 PM  
Blogger Nancy said...

Milk chocolate Icelandic...yummy!

November 4, 2009 at 4:22 PM  
Blogger Willow said...

Oh, it's a beautiful and will make lovely Milky Way yarn. Yeah, spinning is a dirty job, so it's very kind of you to do it!

November 4, 2009 at 5:47 PM  
Blogger Alison said...

Oh, that's funny: my first reaction to that photo was, okay, putting away the wig for next year's costume now.

--AlisonH at

November 5, 2009 at 12:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gorgeous. Rough work, but somebody's got to do it {grin}.

November 5, 2009 at 8:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do we have a clue why, when I use Open ID, I end up as a commenter with a long string of gibberish for a name? Oh, well. . . . It's Deb.

November 5, 2009 at 8:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do we have a clue why, when I use Open ID, I end up as a commenter with a long string of gibberish for a name? Oh, well. . . . It's Deb.

(I usually also have to hit "publish" two or three times before the system believes I mean it.)

November 5, 2009 at 8:52 AM  
Blogger AdrieneJ said...

Wow! That is some lovely fleece! I'm sure it will make a gorgeous mocha fleece!

November 5, 2009 at 11:20 PM  
Blogger SueJ said...

I am sure you will do a fantastic job, however as I know have the long term loan of a spinning wheel I wish you were here to show me how to use it!

Love you book btw.It arrived on Saturday & I had a good peep but actually will be a gift for a dear friend as it is SO her!

November 6, 2009 at 10:40 AM  
Blogger annmarie said...

The fleece *is* a beautiful color and I'm glad to hear that you've got heat again, too. :)

November 6, 2009 at 3:07 PM  
Blogger PghCathy said...

Parents should move to the head of the line....especially parents who have chauffered to countless spinning lessons! Since I'm not a spinner, I can't envision how this will turn into yarn, but I'm looking forward to seeing what you make of it.

November 6, 2009 at 8:04 PM  
Blogger ilana said...

mmmmmmmmmmmmmm....halloween leftovers.

November 6, 2009 at 8:43 PM  

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